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Minter: CMS A Bit Quieter

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 14 2010

Charlotte Motor Speedway lost a long-time friend this week. (File photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Concord, N.C. – The Charlotte Motor Speedway media center isn’t the same this morning. Jack Flowers isn’t here. They found him dead in his chair at his home just down the road from the speedway earlier this week.

Jack and I had a good bit in common, besides covering NASCAR races. We’re both from Georgia – him from the south Georgia town of Moultrie and me from Inman, just a few miles west of Atlanta Motor Speedway. We both worked for my dad at one point, and for both of us, those were some of the best times of our careers.

I was first around Jack in the old media center at the track then known as Atlanta International Raceway. He seemed like a tough old bird in those days, and looking back he was. He also seemed like a tough old bird in recent years, writing his columns for racing publications and pit notes for Charlotte Motor Speedway. He wrote a book called “The Dirt Under the Asphalt: An Underground History of Stock Car Racing.”

Probably only Jack could have gotten away with some of the content in that book.

He was one of those who put a lot of years into covering NASCAR and was left with little to show for it, financially at least, toward the end.

But as my dad said upon learning of his death: “Jack was a good guy.”

I’ll miss mealtime in the media center, when Jack and I would sit at a table and he’d tell stories from his days of working for the Atlanta paper and with my dad.

Hall Feedback: The consensus from the race fans I’ve run into in the past 24 hours is that the Hall of Fame selection committee got it pretty close to right this time as they included Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett and Bud Moore along with two virtual locks – David Pearson and Bobby Allison.

And it somehow seems fitting that Allison got in a year before his long-time rival Darrell Waltrip, especially considering the fact that Allison maintains, and most historians agree, that he has one more win than Waltrip.

Here’s Allison’s story: “I won a race it in Melvin Joseph’s Mustang at Bowman Gray Stadium (in 1971 in Winston Salem, N.C.). Richard Petty ran second that night. For a couple of years it counted, and all of a sudden it came out. I thought they gave the win to Richard Petty, and of course the Pope isn’t going to take a win away from Richard Petty, It’s gone forever.

“I found out later somebody had dropped mine and two of Tiny Lund’s that he won in his Camaro. A few years before Bill France Jr. died they reinstated Tiny’s two wins. Bowman Gray doesn’t have a winner, so that gives me 85.”

Bud Moore is deserving, as his record at the track and in World War II, shows. And Ned Jarrett, too.

On a personal note, it means something that on the night Dale Earnhardt died, when most of the quotable people in the NASCAR world were nowhere to be found, Ned Jarrett stood in the back of the old media center at Daytona and talked about Earnhardt and what he meant to the sport. He didn’t have to do that. He’s done a lot of things he didn’t have to do.

That’s why he’s headed to the Hall of Fame.

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 14 2010
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